Sunday, 14 August 2016

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Avocado Cream

Even though a ripe avocado was the inspiration for this meal, I wanted to be sure the open carton of orange juice didn't sit in the fridge for too much longer. I used it as a marinade for the pork tenderloin, along with some herbs and spices, and then used the marinade to baste the pork as it grilled.

For me, the best part of the meal was the avocado cream I made to serve with the pork. It was a tasty way to use up an overripe avocado, as well as the plain Greek yoghurt. Smooth, creamy, buttery and slightly tart from the addition of the yoghurt and lime juice, it was also very refreshing.

I made an orzo salad with red peppers, cucumber, grape tomatoes, artichoke hearts, chick peas and fresh spinach. All in all, a great summer night's dinner, eaten outside on the patio.

Start the marinade by combining the following in a large resealable plastic bag:

3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bayleaf
pinch of chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Add the liquids:

1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons avocado oil

Place the pork tenderloin inside the bag, and seal it, squeezing out as much air as possible.

Refrigerate for 6 - 8 hours.

Cook the pork on an oiled grill, turning often, and using the marinade to baste it frequently.

When it is cooked, remove it from the heat and allow it to rest for 5 - 10 minutes, before slicing.

While the pork is on the grill, you can make the avocado cream...

Using a hand blender, puree:

1 ripe avocado
Juice of half a lime


1 tablespoon avocado oil
Pinch of ground cumin
A dollop of plain Greek yoghurt

Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Serve the sliced pork topped with a dollop of the avocado cream; it can also be passed separately at the table. The avocado cream added an extra creamy element to the orzo salad, which had a simple oil and vinegar dressing. It was also a nice complement to the pork, which was hot, juicy and bursting with oregano and garlic.

  • I made this pork a few days ago, served with a salad. I decided to make it again, with the ripe avocado in mind as the sauce for the pork.
  • The pork has a lot of flavour from the herbs and garlic; the orange and lime juices help to tenderize it. By using the marinade as a baste during grilling, you keep the meat moist and juicy, but also help create a nice caramelization on the outside.
  • The marinade can be used for any cut of pork, whole or cubed for kebabs; chicken legs or breasts.
  • Any leftover meat will make a good addition to salads, wraps, sandwhiches or stir fries.
  • For the avocado cream, it is the perfect use for a really ripe, soft avocado. This cream is smooth and creamy, and whipping it with a the hand blender makes it airy, kind of like a mousse.
  • Lemon juice can be used; lime and avocado are a classic pairing.
  • For a creamier, richer taste use sour cream instead of yoghurt.
  • This can be spiced up with the addition of hot sauce, cayenne pepper, dried chiptole or ancho chilies, or even chipotle chilies in adobo sauce.
  • Increase the bright fresh flavour by adding some chopped fresh cilantro.
  • The avocado cream keeps for a couple of days, well covered, in the fridge. The addition of lime juice and oil will helpt to lessen any oxidation that might occur.
  • Add some mashed avocado and chopped green onions, and you can turn leftovers into a quick guacamole.
  • The avocado cream is also a tasty addition to poached egg on toast; wraps; sandwhiches; grilled salmon or scallops; as a dip for canapes.

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